The Collegian
Friday, February 23, 2024

Coach London's Corner: 9/3/09

The 2009 football season is here. So much goes into the preparation of developing your mind, body and soul to endure the demands that being a college student-athlete will require.

A long time ago, I was a college football player here at the University of Richmond. I marvel at the abilities of the players to compete for grades in the classroom while competing for playing time and opportunities on the field.

I consider myself blessed and fortunate to have an understanding of the particular issues a student athlete has here at Richmond, but I know that Richmond will prepare you for "life after football." I know that opportunities are what you make of them. You can sit by and watch someone take yours or you can actively participate in cultivating your own. The choice is yours.

It seems there has been no time to reflect on the 2008 national champion season. Speaking engagements have allowed me to travel all over the country to happily talk about "The Championship," and I have spoken to more clubs than I can remember - The Boys and Girls Club, Rotary Clubs and even the Hair Club for Men. Just kidding on that last one!

I hope to share some insights with my readers as we prepare for the 2009 season. I won't give any juicy details, but rather I will give a glimpse of what a football player does during the summer and the things we do leading up to the season.

Playing college football today requires a year-round commitment. When the season is over you may take a few days off, but then you are back at it to prepare once again. The cycle of being a football player goes like this:

No. 1: The summer - lifting, running and conditioning for the rigors of the upcoming season.

No. 2: The season - practice and competition, schoolwork and other academic obligations. We have mandatory study hall for all freshmen and any upperclassmen who do not meet a certain GPA or standard of necessary progress. Our academic advisers do a good job communicating with the professors about a variety of issues.

This includes issues about when we travel and how to make up assigned work, and about injured players who have had surgeries or other medical issues that could affect their academic performance.

The players know that the expectations I have for their performance in the classroom is very important.

You can have the best of both opportunities being a student athlete here at Richmond: a first-class education and a chance to compete for and win championships. I know that's something President Ayers likes to talk about as well.

No. 3: Postseason - the time right after the season. If all has gone well, we will be in the playoffs. This is a time that most players get surgeries done and really work on the process of getting their bodies healed after a long season. They still have to maintain an edge because they don't want to let all the prior gains they made from training diminish. School is still going on so they must also be building their academic muscles.

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No. 4: The spring - a time to re-group and organize your lifting and running programs. We are in spring practice mode when we are allowed by the NCAA to have 15 practice opportunities. The last two years we have had a spring game where former players, alumni, fans and friends of the program attend. It is the final event of the spring, which leads into the summer, and the cycle starts all over again.

I hope that provides a little glimpse of what the football players do. I will have more updates and insights as the season goes on. In the meantime, come out and see us play at UR stadium. Our student body, school spirit and the crazy noise you make energize the team. Wear that red and blue, face paint and any other creative things you can come up with, but come out strong. UR important to us because the Spiders play for you!

Go Spiders!

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